One Man One Truck
Training at the One-9
By: Captain Edwin W. Hall
Lynchburg Regional Airport ARFF Station Company 19 conducted their annual live fire training during the week of May 7-12 followed by the airports Triennial drill. The Virginia Department of Fire Programs supplied the mobile ARFF simulator and Instructors from the ARFF Cadre to help conduct training. ARFF Capt. Edwin W. Hall also a member of the states ARFF Cadre was lead Instructor.
Several weeks prior to training ARFF Chief Heather Palm sent an invitation and schedule to surrounding agencies and allowed them to pick a time or times that were convenient for them to attend. The ARFF crew did their live burns with the airport’s ARFF truck using the ARFF simulators 1400 square foot burn pad which simulates a pool of burning fuel, applied a water curtain to protect the fuselage during an engine fire and putting out wheel fires.
Normal training for responding agencies consist of familiarization of aircraft, learning and or reviewing how to resupply agent to ARFF trucks. Units would do hand line pit fires, interior fires, wheel and engine fires. After looking at the schedule and the equipment that was being sent to the airport for training it was time to think outside the box.
During one training cycle Lynchburg Fire Department sent a rescue and medic unit for training. Instructor Ed Mann came up with the idea of utilizing the equipment on the rescue. Instructor Mann gave the crew a scenario of an aircraft that had crashed on a hillside with victims in the aft section of the aircraft. The crew set up a simple mechanical advantage, using a stokes basket rescued two victims. One of the issues that was addressed was stabilization on larger aircraft. After discussing equipment carried by local agencies that would respond to the airport the equipment carried would not be suitable for large aircraft stabilization and an outside resource or resources would be required.
Truck 2 from Lynchburg Fire department and Truck 15 from Campbell County came out for training at the different times. The simulator was set up on the approach end of RWY 17 which had been closed. After getting permission from ATC tower manager to operate the trucks on the runway. The Truck Company and medics were giving the task of placing the bucket on or near the wing. Medics went in using the over the wing escape hatch and conducted victim removal. This gave responders an idea of what they would be dealing with during an actual emergency.
During the week 125 personal attended training. There were 5 ARFF firefighters from various out state airports came to do their annual burns. This was a large increase of attendance from previous years. Some of the things that made this training a success was Chief Palm’s setting a daily schedule with multiple times and allowing agencies to select the times they could come. Setting scenarios that allowed agencies to train and hone their skills with equipment normally not sent to the airport for training and being able to use an aircraft for practice. Hopefully this will generate a new interest in training at the airport.
On Saturday May 12th Lynchburg Regional Airport conducted their triennial disaster drill.
The scenario was a CRJ 700 regional jet was landing with no flaps. After the jet touched down a landing gear collapsed and the plane skidded clipping a Cessna 150 holding short on a taxiway. ARFF 1 controlled the fire. ICS was implemented and a unified command post established. Incoming Rustburg tanker 16 resupplied ARFF 1. Brookville Timber lake Engine 12-1 established a RIT line to protect firefighters conducting interior operations. Lyn-Dan Heights Engine 15-3 supplied water to engine 12-1. Medic units from Campbell County Public safety and Lynchburg Fire Department, Centra Health established a Triage and transport area as victims were removed from fuselage and were triaged. After the drill was over a critique and debriefing was held for all responders by observers and participants. Many issues that were brought up during the debriefing can be addressed to make for safer smoother operations in the event of a real crash.
Thank you to all the agencies who participated in training and or the triennial drill.
Lynchburg Regional Airport ARFF crew, Lynchburg Fire Dept., Campbell County Public Safety Career staff, Lyn-Dan Heights VFD, Brookville -Timberlake VFD, Evington VFD, Concord VFD, Rustburg VFD, Va. State Police, Airport Police, Centra Health, Horizon Health, and other organizations not listed.
A special thanks to Liberty University School of Aeronautics for supplying an aircraft for the disaster drill and students that were victims.
Picture of Campbell Co. Truck 15 with ladder extend photographer Colton Mullins
All other photographs by Capt. Edwin W. Hall AMF
About the Author: Captain Edwin W. Hall with Lynchburg Regional Airport ARFF is employed by Protect Fire Services. He is an instructor of Fire Programs with the Commonwealth of Virginia. Also, he’s a life member of the Lyn-Dan Heights Volunteer Fire Department.